How do the students of today prepare for examinations? What if they can no longer fully remember the content of a lecture due to "the night before", or even missed one completely? Do they still have to rely on swapping their often incomplete and swiftly scribbled notes? As a modern-day solution to the dilemma, the Zentrum für Multimedia in der Lehre (ZMML) has developed a number of different formats and service offers built around digital media and e-learning. Over the past 10 years or so these services have been enjoying increasing popularity – and not only with students. Dr. Yildiray Ogurol, who leads the ZMML team, explains the concept: "As a service provider for the whole university we also help members of faculty design and prepare their lectures. This in turn gives them more time to look after their students".
The ZMML makes recordings of actual lectures available with its "mobile lecture" format via the video portal http://mlecture.uni-bremen.de. Now everyone can access and view real lectures – wherever they may be and no matter what time of day. Currently about 2,500 videos are available online. In summer semester 2013 the portal was visited 25,000 times. A special extra service: The transparencies shown during the lecture appear too, synchronized with the video soundtrack – which also makes it possible to jump to a particular part of the lecture. As Ogurol explains, "This offer makes it possible to fit studying into a family friendly schedule". It also takes account of different learning tempos, helps surmount language barriers, and compensates for overfilled lecture halls. At any time during their studies, students can refer back to past lectures: long-forgotten foundation lectures can be revisited. "It is up to the lecturers in question to decide whether a password is needed to access a video. In this way they can ensure that they are only available to their own students."
In summer semester 2013 the ZMML started to introduce an innovative procedure for making the recordings. They began preparing seminar rooms for automated recording. At the moment this is being tried out in the main lecture hall, the Keksdose. The new technique enables teaching staff to book recordings of their lectures for Stud.IP, and students are now able to make recommendations for future recordings themselves – all part of the ongoing process to make the e-learning offer even more efficient.
For some time now, students of all disciplines have to attend courses and collect credit points in the area of General Studies. The ZMML is active here, too, with "eGeneral Studies" (eGS) to complement regular study courses. Link http://egs.uni-bremen.de.
Like mobile lectures, eGS videos can be accessed on demand. In contrast to the mobile lectures, though, these lectures are studio recordings. As a rule, eGS courses comprise 12-14 units, each containing three episodes in the form of professionally prepared 30-minute teaching videos. Each episode begins with a description of the learning objective, and ends with exercises and a list of recommended literature. As Dr. Yildiray Ogurol explains, "This is not intended to replace the professor. Rather, the aim is to give students an opportunity to introduce some flexibility into overfilled study schedules. Now they can study such cross-disciplinary topics during the semester break, for instance."
Registration for the e-learning offers and ongoing accompaniment is via Stud.IP. The courses end with an e-test held in the University of Bremen's Test Center. In summer semester 2013 there were about 820 registrations in Stud.IP and 430 e-tests. Unlike the rigid timetables typical for the classical examinations held at the end of each semester, the online offer has several examination dates to choose from – yet another opportunity for students to relax their tight schedules.
You can obtain further information by contacting:
University of Bremen
Center for Multimedia in Teaching
Dr. Yildiray Ogurol